Trump awards posthumous Medal of Honor to family of fallen Air Force sergeant

Trump awards posthumous Medal of Honor to family of fallen Air Force sergeant

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Anderson Cooper: Trump's Bubba Wallace tweet was 'racist, just plain and simple' Beats by Dre announces deal with Bubba Wallace, defends him after Trump remarks Overnight Defense: DOD reportedly eyeing Confederate flag ban | House military spending bill blocks wall funding MORE on Wednesday awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor to the widow of an Air Force technical sergeant who died on a rescue mission in Afghanistan.

Air Force Tech Sgt. John Chapman was honored Wednesday for charging into enemy fire and securing enemy positions during a 2002 mission that went awry. Trump presented the nation's highest military honor to Chapman's widow, Valerie Nessel, during a ceremony at the White House.

Chapman and other troops pressed through deep snow and a hail of enemy gunfire in search of team members who were stranded when a helicopter crash-landed near the peak of Takur Ghar, a 10,000-foot mountain in Afghanistan.

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Trump said Chapman was the first to clear an enemy bunker and exposed himself to gunfire to secure a second bunker. He was shot and lost consciousness.

“Even though he was mortally wounded, he regained consciousness and he fought on,” Trump said. “And he really fought. We have proof of that fight. He really fought.” 

"Through his extraordinary sacrifice, John helped save more than 20 American service members," Trump added.

Chapman, a Connecticut native, is the 19th member of the Air Force to receive the Medal of Honor. 

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Earlier this year, Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to retired Navy SEAL Britt Slabinski for his efforts during the same mission. 

The mission, known as the Battle at Roberts Ridge, came under scrutiny after the fact for lack of planning and communication at senior levels, The Washington Post reported.

The newspaper reported that Slabinski and other team members believed Chapman was dead and retreated from the mountain.

The Air Force reviewed drone footage years later that showed Chapman was likely just unconscious and was forced to fight extremists alone after he regained consciousness.